The Hurry-Up: Ohio State and Oklahoma Duke It Out for Jantzen Dunn, Cincinnati Native Jyaire Brown Connects With Kerry Coombs, Earnest Greene Another Candidate For Bosco Pipeline

By Zack Carpenter on April 19, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Jyaire Brown

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

OU vs. OSU for Dunn

By now, you've likely already seen the tweets that were pushed out on Saturday night, with four-star South Warren (Ky.) defensive back Jantzen Dunn telling us he had some big news coming soon, which came just moments after Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley had put out the eyeball emoji that he typically tweets whenever he lands a commitment.

Combined with Oklahoma being one of Dunn's top schools, the two Crystal Ball predictions put in for him to land with the Sooners within minutes of Dunn's announcement – from 247Sports national analyst Steve Wiltfong and Oklahoma recruiting insider Brandon Drumm – and sources beginning to talk about the situation, it looked quite clear that Dunn was set to commit to Riley's program.

But this is recruiting in 2020, and things can flip so quickly on a dime. It looks like that's exactly what happened here.

Less than 45 minutes after the pick was in for Dunn to join the Sooners, those same predictions were flipped from Oklahoma to Ohio State. Soon enough, five more CBs were put in for a Dunn-to-Ohio State move.

Back in October, the Buckeyes were able to flip Oklahoma defensive back commit Ryan Watts. It's possible we could be looking at a similar situation for Dunn, a good friend of Watts as the two were past teammates on the Texas-based True Buzz Athletics 7-on-7 team.

The Watts flip took about six months to pull off after Watts had committed in April. If the Buckeyes pulled off a Dunn flip from Oklahoma on Saturday night, it took a decidedly shorter amount of time.

Brown, Coombs connect

Whether it's Donovan Jackson (whose parents are both from Ohio), JC Latham (who played ball in Wisconsin and has family in Akron) or Tunmise Adeleye (who had a dream of being a Buckeye since sixth grade), Ohio State often finds national prospects who have ties to the program – be it family connections, Midwest connections or nostalgic connections. 

That's the case once again in the 2022 class, as Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes have started to form a connection with New Orleans four-star cornerback Jyaire Brown, the 16th-ranked corner in the country who Coombs offered during a phone call on Friday night.

“Coach Coombs offered me, and man it was unreal,” Brown told Eleven Warriors. “The feeling is unexplainable.”

Just like Coombs, Brown is a native of Cincinnati who was born in the Queen City. Brown lived there until he was 4 years old, after which he moved away to Louisiana, where he has become the state's sixth-ranked sophomore at Warren Easton High School.

One of his coaches at Warren Easton, offensive coordinator Munchie LeGaux, is familiar with Coombs. A former Cincinnati quarterback, LeGaux's freshman year was Coombs' final season as a Bearcats assistant in 2011.

Brown was connected to Coombs through LeGaux, and Coombs was able to use the Cincinnati connection to start forming a relationship with Brown. The two also share a connection in that Coombs once attempted to get Brown's cousin, Michael Jackson, to join the Bearcats as a preferred walk-on.

Brown says Friday was the first conversation he had with a coach from Ohio State, and it was apparently a very good one. So good, in fact, that he can already see himself playing for the Buckeyes.

“This offer means everything to me and my family – bigger than every (other scholarship offer),” Brown said. “This is my home and can’t wait to play under Coach Coombs.”

Now, it would be easy to read that and believe it's a done deal for Brown to join Ohio State, especially when adding the cherry on top that three Crystal Ball predictions were then dropped for Brown to the Buckeyes.

But it's just as probable that it was a case of a budding sophomore defensive back star being very excited about having a great conversation with one of the best defensive back developers in the nation – one who has a gaudy track record of developing guys who get selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and who has a strong connection with Brown already.

Just keep in mind that it is incredibly early in the process, and Brown is coming off an incredibly hot stretch of offers. There is a lot ahead of him in his recruiting process, and it's wise to assume that he will continue putting serious weight into the options that have quickly come onto his plate.

From March 31 to April 17, Brown was also offered by Texas, Michigan State, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Alabama.

“The LSU offer had me excited as well,” Brown said. “The feeling has been surreal. But it’s been all blessings, and I’m thankful.”

“This offer means everything to me and my family. ... This is my home.”– Ohio State cornerback target and Cincinnati Native Jyaire Brown

There are plenty of traits for those programs to like about Brown, who is a candidate to emerge as one of the best cornerback talents in America's 2022 class.

“I am physical, I can come down and disrupt a WR route easy,” Brown said. “I am long, I use my length to my advantage. And I have textbook feet, so I am able to move with the best of them.

“(To keep improving), I need to keep going hard, even with these hard times, trying to perfect my craft to be the best me.”

According to research by Eleven Warriors' Matt Gutridge, the only two players to suit up for the Buckeyes from Louisiana were Nader Abdallah (2004-08) and Jonathan Wells (1998-01).

Greene learned from former Bosco star Williams

Brown wasn't the only sophomore standout offered by Ohio State over the weekend, as St. John Bosco (Calif.) offensive tackle Earnest Greene – the No. 2-ranked OT, No. 3-ranked player in California and a top-20 overall player for the class of 2022 – also announced that the Buckeyes came calling on Friday. Well, actually, they came calling quite a while ago.

“It was actually on the phone with (offensive line assistant) coach Kennedy Cook that he told me they offered me last spring and to confirm it,” Greene told Eleven Warriors. 

Now that the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder has the Ohio State offer, he can begin considering whether or not he wants to become the latest St. John Bosco star to take the path to Ohio State.

All-American offensive guard Wyatt Davis (2017) and freshman Kourt Williams II (2020) came to the Buckeyes by way of Bosco in the past few years, and Greene says he was able to learn from both.

“It’s definitely a big one to (my family and I) because we look at the success that Wyatt has achieved and just the fact that we’ve always liked the program,” Greene said. “Kourt and Wyatt are two people I look up to, being that we both came from the same school and I just played my last season with Kourt. So yeah, I look up to those guys and use them as mentors.

“Kourt taught me how important hard work and your presence is along with good impressions.”

Greene has made plenty of good impressions himself, especially on Cook, who let Greene know the next steps for how he can continue improving during the nationwide coronavirus-induced shutdown.

“It’s honestly just been don’t be the guy that, when this is over, loses trust from the coaches and the team because you weren’t doing what you were supposed to do,” Greene said.

Greene has nearly 20 offers thus far, including from Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Michigan and Texas A&M. He has plenty of options and will see at least a dozen more come his way over the next several months, so this is just the beginning for him.

“I see a future with Ohio State,” Greene says, “but I just wanna wait and let my recruitment play out and see what comes my way.”

Jyaire Brown photo courtesy of Billy Embody/247Sports

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